The first ever Padova derby took place this evening as the two residents of the Euganeo met for the first time. Biancoscudati Padova, the Serie D/C league leaders and the phoenix club formed when their victors, 7th placed Calcio Padova went bust in the summer of 2014 played out a thrilling match which ended 2-1 in favour of the club originale. Radio Sportiva were there for all the action.
It has been a tough winter break for the Padova manager Chris Darwen. Forced to abandon his “nessun difensori” project due to a bad run of form, the 3-3-1-3 that had seen the club promoted twice in a row hasn’t really clicked back into gear, probably due to the lack of natural defenders left in his squad.
Following the recent defeat to AltoVincento Darwen started dipping into the transfer market, signing three defenders and a striker, as well as promoting another young talent from the U20 squad, striker Perisco who had attracted a contract offer from Parma. With strikers signed by the Englishman having a highly varied rate of success it has been seen as a gamble, the only striker of note this season being the ever reliable De Mitri with seventeen. The other starlet, Ceolin who had seven, committed himself to a contract with Lazio days before rupturing his cruciate ligaments, hence Darwen making moves to improve his attacking line-up.
It has been a frustrating season for Padova, but they went a long away to alleviating some of that stress with a stunning win against the league leaders. New signing Scardina fired home the winner in his second appearance for the side, following De Mitri putting the side ahead in the fifth minute. Hopefully the win, technically away from home, will boost the confidence around the club and if Darwen can settle on a regular eleven whilst juggling the need for four U20’s, three of which must be U19 and one of which must be U18 then there is still an outside chance they could make a break for the play-offs.
Against Biancoscudati Padova the team looked more assured defensively. Rossini has been restored to the line up on the right of the back three, the Belgian Libbrecht looks like a fine addition on the left and when Zucconi returns from injury he will push the new Dutchman Ossevoort for the right to play in the middle. Del Piero moving into the centre of midfield looked like a positive move as he was able to dictate the play and this was by far the most accomplished Padovese performance of the season.
Despite massively under-achieving so far, Padova remain only three points off third place as they look up from seventh. With a cup semi final to look forward to having seen off Siena 5-1, if they can hit some kind of consistency they should seal a third successive promotion.